Lockheed blames money for delaying net-centric war

Budget concerns are delaying important network-centric warfare programs, said the new head of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s information technology division.

Shifts in acquisition strategies for Defense Department programs such as the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS), the Air Force's Air and Space Operations Centers' lead systems integrator contract and the Army's Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) are about money rather than requirements, said Stan Sloane, executive vice president of Lockheed's Integrated Systems & Solutions (IS&S) in Gaithersburg, Md.

For example, industry insiders believe the Army wants Lockheed and General Dynamics Corp. to team up on the WIN-T battle communications program and that company officials will announce the partnership soon. Rather than fretting over the change from original plans for a winner-take-all contract, Lockheed officials will do whatever is in the customer's best interest, said Sloane, who said a joint industry team for WIN-T is likely.

Sloane took over last month for Al Smith, who officially retires next February. Sloane met with journalists today at the division's headquarters to talk about his plans for IS&S.

Air Force officials planned to award the JTRS Cluster 3 airborne/maritime contract and the Army's Aerial Common Sensor deal this spring. Lockheed officials now expect the winners of those contracts to be announced later this month.

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